Toronto - Manulife Securities International Ltd. ("MSIL") announced today that it is proceeding with a proposed class action against Société Générale, Société Générale (Canada), Lyxor Asset Management and Société Générale Securities Inc. ("Société Générale"). This action concerns the role played by Société Générale in relation to Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc. ("Portus"). Portus has been the subject of receivership and bankruptcy proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court since February 2005. These proceedings were initially brought by the Ontario Securities Commission in an effort to secure the remaining assets of Portus for the benefit of those members of the public who invested in Portus ("Portus Investors"). KPMG Inc., the Trustee in Bankruptcy, anticipates that investors will not receive full recovery of their investments in Portus through the bankruptcy proceedings.
In the proposed class proceeding, various claims are made against Société Générale on behalf of all Portus Investors as set out in the Statement of Claim. In commencing and prosecuting this action, MSIL is continuing to fulfill its commitment to pursue aggressively all available avenues to maximize recovery for the benefit of all Portus Investors.
This proceeding seeks damages from Société Générale based on the loss of invested capital as well as losses resulting from Portus Investors' inability to achieve a return on their investment due to the collapse of Portus. Any award of damages in the proposed class proceeding will go to benefit all Portus Investors. To the extent that the Estate of Portus makes distributions, the damages claimed through the proposed class proceeding will be reduced but not eliminated. Recovery of remaining damages will continue to be sought from Société Générale.
In mid-2005, MSIL acted quickly to repay all of its own clients who were referred to Portus by MSIL. These clients were repaid 100% of the principal they invested with Portus by MSIL.
"From the outset, MSIL has committed to do the right thing for its clients and to do what it can to assist all Portus Investors in minimizing their losses from the unfortunate situation surrounding the collapse of Portus. No one other than Portus Investors should profit. MSIL will not profit from this action. To the extent that there is an ultimate net realization by MSIL greater than the principal amount invested by its clients, MSIL will credit its clients with this excess", said J-P. Bisnaire, Senior Executive Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel of Manulife Financial.
The action will be dealt with on the Commercial List of the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto. The next steps include a preliminary motion and ultimately a motion to certify the action as a class proceeding.
For further information, contact J-P. Bisnaire, Senior Executive Vice President Business Development and General Counsel of Manulife Financial at (416) 852-7777 or at firstname.lastname@example.org